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A nationwide tour is scheduled to stop in Clarendon

The Sandell Drive In located in Clarendon is one of a few drive in theaters selected to host an Amazon Prime Video event (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

Amazon Prime Video recently kicked-off a cross country caravan with the purpose being to promote the hit show The Grand Tour. On Nov. 4 the Sandell Drive In is being rented out by Amazon for a showing of The Grand Tour and one showing of the Italian Job.

“This will be a great special event but we do run special events every month while were open,” said Tony Dale, co-manager of Sandell Drive In. “We’re excited to help bring something back to the original drive in vibe where people get together as a community and enjoy the outdoors and the movie.”

Since 1955, the Sandell Drive In has been owned and operated by two families. The Barnhill family and the Morrow family. With a new management team in place the game plan is to host additional events like the one scheduled for Nov 4 to attract a more diverse audience.

“What were really trying to do is expand our audience online,” said Deborah Dale co-manager. “Lots of people are checking that and finding things to do online.”

Getting the drive in ready for the big event is a challenge. Deborah Dale tells ABC 7 News they’re expecting a full house which is 400 vehicles with many of the people being in the next generation.

“We’ve realized that Snap Chat is the way to go with our young audience that’s basically how they communicate with each other,” said Deborah Dale. “We’ve got a Sandell Drive In Snap Chat so we let different kids take it over on the nights so we get some groovy and funky photos.”

“Drive Ins across the world have kind of dwindled so having something like Amazon come in and bring that fresh spirit to revitalize the drive-in industry is kind of essential,” said Tony Dale. “We want people to experience what a drive in really is.”

The gates will open at 6 p.m. and the first picture starts at 7:30 p.m. The event is free of cost and concessions are free while they last but you must complete a survey for Amazon. The caravan travels to Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Washington and Hawaii. There will also be tons of amazing cars to check out while people enjoy complimentary food and drinks.


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